January 27, 2020 at 7:23 PM #1298
The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
Rating: 3.0 – Fair
Just give us Elder Scrolls VI…
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of my favorite games ever made. As one could imagine, the idea of a Skyrim MMO got me pretty excited, but after numerous delays and a switch away from a subscription model, I had a feeling that The Elder Scrolls Online was going to disappoint when it finally released on console. More or less, I was right.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited is an MMORPG for sure, and it strives to be little more than that. It doesn’t really do anything all that new in the genre, which makes it hard to recommend to people that already have plenty of experience with games like World of Warcraft or Guild Wars. So if it’s not for MMORPG fans, who is it for?
Well, it’s really for people that are new to the genre. It’s one of the most accessible MMOs on the market, and for that, I give it credit. It begins with an epic cinematic, and then tasks players with creating their character. The character creation suite in the game is rather expansive and impressive, and allows players to get very creative when making their character.
From there, the opening tutorial mission is fun enough, but it becomes quickly apparent that The Elder Scrolls Online isn’t going to be Elder Scrolls at its best nor an MMO at its best. All the other people running around in the first mission is just weird, and can be annoying as well, as it becomes a fight to kill the enemies and get the early XP. After that sequence, players are thrust into the impressively large world of Tamriel, but things don’t get much better from that point.
Tamriel is huge, almost unfathomably so. It’s actually quite impressive how large it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s filled with consistently entertaining sights to see. Players are basically left to their own devices, and just run around collecting quests, and then complete the quests in an empty-feeling open world. Even though there are enemies everywhere and other players running about, it just doesn’t feel like there’s any life to any of it.
Joining up with fellow players is easy enough, and there’s no shortage of content to explore, that’s for sure. There are a variety of classes to try out, and the combat is actually really tight. The combat is one of the aspects of The Elder Scrolls Online that it does better than the series that spawned it and most other MMOs in general, as it is a bit deeper and more complex than the standard fare.
Visually speaking, The Elder Scrolls Online is a mixed bag. The environments are sometimes very impressive and vibrant, but other areas of the game look muddy and weak. The character models are poorly animated as well, and it’s clear that the game does not take full advantage of the new-generation hardware. The audio presentation is also nothing to get excited about, which is a shame as past Elder Scrolls titles have excelled in this area.
As for play time, the game is an MMORPG, so it basically has infinite replayability. However, the key to enjoying The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited is by finding a good group of friends to play with. Otherwise, your enjoyment will be severely limited.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited is worth trying out for enthusiasts, but I have my doubts that many will get hooked. There are free MMORPG options on Xbox One that I feel are a bit better than ESO, and so it’s hard to recommend overall. In the meantime, for those that are absolutely craving more Elder Scrolls content, it’s at least something to help tide you over until Elder Scrolls VI.
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